Luis Suarez has finally opened up about how he nearly forced a move to Arsenal from Liverpool, until Steven Gerrard stepped in and convinced him otherwise.
Back in 2013, Suarez seemed desperate to leave Liverpool after a very poor 2012-13 season where Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League. Arsenal had come calling and audaciously submitted a bit of £40,000,001 – which was a single pound over the £40 million release clause the Scousers had inserted into their talisman’s contract.
However, just when things seemed set to escalate, with Suarez forcing a move to the Emirates, Steven Gerrard intervened. The former Liverpool captain advised the Uruguayan against making the switch to the Gunners, insisting he would be better off at Anfield. The Englishman also convinced him that he would sign for a bigger club when they inevitably come calling.
‘We qualified for the UEFA Europa League but the season ended badly,’ Suarez told Otro.
‘I’m about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me ‘I promise that if you stay this year you’re going to take off and next year you’ll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won’t be better off at Arsenal’.
‘This was the last conversation I had with Gerrard at that moment and I told my agent that I had made my decision and I was staying.
‘His words convinced me in that moment. They came from a person who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who saw me suffer during training and saw me sad.
‘They were words from a true captain that had an impact in that moment and helped me a lot.’
It turned out to be one of the best decisions Suarez ever made in his career. Arsenal missed out on a magnificent signing, but Suarez went on to win the PFA Player of the Year award, scoring a staggering 31 goals in 33 appearances that season. Gerrard was right about the last bit too, as Barcelona eventually knocked on the door and the striker has been at the Nou Camp ever since.